Articles tagged with: maya culture and history
The ancient Maya civilization’s many achievements include a written language, advanced mathematics, sophisticated surgery, and astrological calculations that continue to astound scholars… and the list goes on.
But for many people, the Maya’s greatest achievement is something loved all over the world today—chocolate.
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Imagine the scene. The stands are packed. The crowd is glued to every move made on the court. Elite athletes focused. A ball hurtles toward the dirt, your hero dives for it, deflecting the heavy rubber ball with his shoulder. His opponent springs into the air, and the ball comes right back. Again he dives. The ball slams into his hip. He grunts at the heavy thud of the ball against his skin. He twists and wriggles in the air, defying gravity. You watch. mezmorized as the ball sails over the opponent’s head, out of reach. The crowd erupts. Score!
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For more than 3,000 years, from 2000 B.C. until the Spanish started sending colonists across the Atlantic in the early to mid-1500’s A.D., the Mayan civilization reached and maintained a high level of cultural development. In addition to mastering writing, math and astronomy, the Mayans made full use of the natural resources available in what is now Mexico, Central America and parts of South America. This innovative culture learned to not only mine successfully, but managed to turn their somewhat inhospitable tropical swampland into crop-bearing tracts of land.
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The costumes were amazing. Men with jaguar skins and masks, their sweat glistening in the firelight as they twirled and danced, to the rhythmic drumming. Necklets of amber and jade, beautiful feather headdresses, animal masks all swirling, gyrating and generating a heady mixture of sensuality, fear and historic significance.
“2012 is a year of huge significance for the Maya, and we want visitors to learn the real story about it from the people themselves, and while exploring Maya history and culture throughout Belize. We’re committed to putting this important epoch in its proper perspective while providing an in-depth, authentic Maya experience,” Chaa Creek GM Lucy Fleming said at a recent Maya workshop.